Saturday, February 27, 2010

Soundtrack Saturday (6)

Soundtrack Saturday is a new meme hosted at Rating Reads
•Take your current read or recently finished book.
•Find at least one song that fits the story, characters, whatever.
•Post the book title and song(s) on your blog with a brief explanation of your picks. Don't forget to mention who started it.
•Head over to Rating Reads and add your post to the Mr. Linky.

Book: Fool Moon- Jim Butcher
Song: Bad Moon Rising- Creedence Clearwater Revival
Why: Because Fool Moon is chalk-full of werewolves, plus I like this song and it reminds me of my favorite show.


In My Mailbox (35)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Contest:
Library:
Author: Laura Childs
Title: Gunpowder Green
Series: A Tea Shop Mystery (book 2)
Publication Date: 2002
Synopsis: "Charleston's Indigo Tea Shop has just come out with its latest flavor: Gunpowder Green. Theodosia Browning can't wait to hear its praises after it's unveiled at the annual yacht race. When a member of Charleston's elite falls dead after the antique gun is shot to end the race, Theo has a hunch it was no accident and will go out of her way to prove it."

Author: Ann Rinaldi
Title: A Break with Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials
Series: A Great Episode (book 2)
Publication Date: 1992
Synopsis: "Susanna English desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage, but she doesn’t realize the leader of the group, the malicious Ann Putnam, is about to set off a torrent of false accusations that will lead to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people-victims of a witch-hunt panic."

Author: Anne McCaffrey
Title: Dragonsong4
Series: Harper Hall (book 1)
Publication Date: 1976
Synopsis: "Menolly loved music and wanted to be a Harper, though her father would not allow it. It was a disgrace for a woman even to think of such a thing. Finally, he forbade Menolly to even sing for fear her ambition would become known. Menolly had no choice but to run away. On her journey she meets a group of fire lizards who bring new adventure, challenge and direction to her life."

First off I would like to thank the lovely people of Shooting Stars Mag. I won the White Collar prize pack from them.
So far only three of the books I have put on hold from the library have come in, but that might be a good thing since I strill have a couple of books from last week to get through. The book I am most excited about (finally) coming in would have to be Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsong the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy. I also picked up the second book in the Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs (Gunpowder Green), along with A Break with Charity: A Story about the salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi.
___________________________________________________
1. The White Collar prize pack was won from Shooting Stars Mag.
2. Gunpowder Green was borrowed from the library.
3. A Break with Charity: A story about the Salem Witch Trials was borrowed from the library.
4. Dragonsong was also borrowed from the library.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fire

Author: Kristin Cashore
Title: Fire1
Series: Seven Kingdoms (companion to Graceling)
Publication Date: 2009
Number of Pages: 480
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Synopsis: "She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her."

While I really enjoyed reading Fire, the prequel the Graceling, I think it could have used a lot more action.

The most interesting thing about Fire as a character would have to be her past relationship with her father that is described over the course of the book.
Fire was at turns an interesting yet frustrating character. I found her interesting because she was so different from any of the others characters in both they way she looked and inn what she was capable of, and yet she managed to frustrate me for the majority of the book.
The only character in the book that I really liked was Brigan. He had more depth and character then the rest of the cast.
One of my favorite things about the book Fire would have to be that you learn more about Leck who is the main antagonist in Graceling. It was interesting to read about him from when he was younger.
My favorite scene from Fire would have to have been the annual Gala that was thrown at the King's palace. I loved the intrigue and plotting that went on during it.
My only problem with the book would have to be that the final battle was ended in a very abrupt fashion. So they were in the middle of a fight scene and then it was a couple of months later. I really don't like it when a book skips like that.
In the end I liked Fire and cannot wait to read the next book in the Seven Kingdoms series.

Fire earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.
Seven Kingdoms:
Graceling
Fire
____________________________________________________
1. Fire was borrowed from the library.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fool Moon

Author: Jim Butcher
Title: Fool Moon1
Series: The Dresden Files (book 2)
Publication Date: 2001
Number of Pages: 352
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Synopsis: "Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicagos only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends.

With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.
Soon he finds himself pinned between trigger-happy FBI agents, shape-shifiting motorcycle gang members, a threatened mobster boss, and an heir to an ancient curse along with his primal fiance. Thrown in environmental activists and a pair of young werewolves in love and you have something of Fool Moon."

It seems that last week was the week of reviews with the word dragon in the title, but this week I have moved on to the letter F instead.

Fool Moon was a thoroughly enjoyable read and a great follow up to the first book in the Dresden Files.
There are two main reasons for why I enjoyed reading Fool Moon: the first would be that they main character Harry got into some pretty tight jams and got roughed up quite a bit. Which in my opinion makes a character more endearing when they wind up battered and bruised from putting up a good fight. I found it refreshing to read about a character that got hurt and wasn't instantly healed by time the next chapter rolled around.
The other thing I liked about this book would have to be that there was more then just one type of werewolves that came into play in the book. I also liked the different stories behind how each of the different weres came about. I also enjoyed the witty one-liners; they gave the book a lighter feeling when it started to get a little dark.
As gruesome as this might sound my favorite part of the book would have to be when Harry is trying to stop the loup-garou that's running loose in the police department. I also liked the final showdown.
Since I can't recall what my least favorite part of the book was I'll just end my review by saying that Fool Moon was a very interesting read and that I plan on checking out the third book in the Dresden Files.

Fool Moon earns 4 out of 5 pineapples. 
______________________________________________
1. Fool Moon was borrowed from the library.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Full Tilt

Author: Neal Shusterman
Title: Full Tilt1
Publication Date: 2004
Number of Pages: 208
Genre: YA/Adventure
Synopsis: "Sixteen-year-old Blake has always been the responsible one in his dysfunctional family — the one who drives safely, gets good grades, and looks after his wild younger brother, Quinn. Quinn is his brother's opposite — a thrill-seeker who's always chasing the next scary rush, no matter what the cost. But Quinn and Blake are in for the surprise of their lives when they're thrust into the world of a bizarre phantom carnival — and their souls are the price of admission."

When I first put Full Tilt on hold I thought that I might have read it before, but now I'm pretty sure that I only thought about reading it. And it has been by far one of the bets books that I have read, for the first time, this year.
I love books were the main character has something from their past that is either dark or something that they're trying to repress, like, Blake's past.
While the first part of the book was really good, it has nothing on rave amusement park. I loved how the rides became links to the fears of those who rode them and how it changed for different people. I also liked how he turned the most innocent rides, like the carousel, into a fight for your very life and sanity.
Another thing I liked about this book would have to be that while he was searching for his brother Quinn how he came to understand his brother better. Especially since they used to be close and had drifted apart. I also liked how Blake had to face what happened in his past and learn to move on with his life.
My favorite part of Full Tilt would have to be the Hall of Mirrors. It was truly creepy, but at the same time made it very hard to put down because the mirrors showed the persons worst fears about themselves.
My least favorite part of the book would have to be how easy it was for Blake's friend Russ to betray him just so that he could survive; along with the way he treated Maggie like his personal property.
Full Tilt was an amazing action packed read that I would totally recommend giving a try.

Full Tilt earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
Note:
I'm going to be cutting down to only three reviews a week. Since I am having truble finding the time to write five reviews a week. Sorry.
_______________________________________________________
1. Full Tilt was borrowed from the library.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (34)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Contest:
Author: Janni Lee Simner
Title: Bones of Faerie1
Publication Date: 2009
Synopsis: "The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds."

Library:
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Title: Cart and Cwidder; Drowned Ammet2
Series: Dalemark Quartet (books 1 & 2)
Publication Date: 1975, 1977
Synopsis: "It is a country divided by war. For centuries, the earldoms of the North and South have battled. Now, four young people from different times -- with the help of their mysterious gods, the Undying -- must unite to save their beloved land.
Traveling musician Moril has inherited a cwidder said to have belonged to one of the Undying. Can he learn to harness its strange powers in time to prevent an invasion?

To avenge his father's death, Mitt has joined a plot to assassinate the tyrannical Earl Hadd. But when everything goes wrong, he finds himself on a storm-tossed sea in a boat with his enemies."

Author: Anne McCaffrey
Title: The Rowan3
Series: Tower and Hive (book 1)
Publication Date: 1990
Synopsis: "An orphaned young girl, simply called The Rowan, is discovered to have superior telepathic potential and is trained to become Prime Talent on Callisto. After years of self-sacrificing dedication to her position, The Rowan intercepts an urgent mental call from Jeff Raven, a young Prime Talent on distant Deneb. She convinces the other Primes to merge their powers with hers to help fight off an attack by invading aliens. Her growing relationship with Jeff gives her the courage to break her status-imposed isolation, and choose the more rewarding world of love and family."


Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Title: Tattoo4
Series: Bailey (book 1)
Publication Date: 2007
Synopsis: "Bailey Morgan isn't the type of girl who shows a lot of skin, but somehow, she ends up in a dressing room at the mall with her friend Delia applying a temporary tattoo to her lower back. Never one to suffer fashion doubt, trendsetter Delia knows exactly where she wants her own tattoo: on her stomach, right where her shirt ends—can you say "midriff"? Annabelle, the quiet one, chooses the back of her neck, and tomboy Zo plasters hers on the top of her foot. The tattoos will last for three days, and Delia's sure that with them, the four friends will absolutely kill at the school dance."

This week I would like to thank Ashley of Books Obsession, I won Bones of Faerie from her. I would also like to thank Adrienne of An Addicted Book Reader, who I won a signed Shadow Hills book mark from.
On to my library picks of the week. This week I picked up The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey, Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and VOL 1 of The Dalemark Quartet featureing Cart and Cwidder and Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones.
Well, that's all for me this week in books. Cannot wait to see what everyone else got.

____________________________________________________
1. Bones of Faerie was won from Ashley of Books Obsession.
2. Cart and Cwidder & Drowned Ammet was borrowed from the library.
3. The Rowan was borrowed from the library.
4. Tattoo was also borrowed from the library.
5. The Shadow Hills book mark was won from Adrienne of An Addicted Book Reader.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Stepsister

Author: R.L. Stine
Title: The Stepsister1
Series: Fear Street (book 9)
Publication Date: 1990
Number of Pages: 176
Genre: YA/Horror/Thriller
Synopsis: "Emily wants to like her stepsister, but it hasn't been easy. As soon as Jessie moves in, she takes over Emily's room, steals Emily's clothes, and lies to everyone. Then Emily picks up Jessie's diary and learns a horrifying secret. Is Jessie really capable of murder?

Emily tries to tell her parents, but no one believes her. So it's up to Emily to expose the real Jessie -- if she can stay alive."

It's actually been quite awhile since the last time I read book by R.L. Stine and I must say I really enjoyed reading The Stepsister. I enjoyed reading it as much as I did the other Fear Street books that I have read.
Emily was a pretty interesting character to read about. I was a bit irritated with her at first when she gave up her bed to Jesse in the beginning of the book (they had to share a room), but she became less irritating as the book progressed and more attempts were made on her life.
I liked how the book teased you about what happened to Jesse at her last school and how it was slowly revealed throughout the book.
My favorite part of The Stepsister would have to be the end. I was so shocked because I never saw the book ending that way, which is very surprising since I can you usually spot odd twists by the time I'm half way through a book. But the end of the book was one of the best ending that I have read.
Least favorite part of the book would have to be how Emily's mom didn't believe that she was in any danger and what happened to Tiger, it was just so sad.
The Stepsister was a great read, but the end was totally the best part of the book for me.

The Stepsister earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.
____________________________________________
1. The Stepsister was borrowed from the library.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Blue Sword

Author: Robin McKinley
Title: The Blue Sword1
Series: The Hero and the Crown (book 2)
Publication Datae: 1982
Number of Pages: 297
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: "Istan, the last outpost of the Homelander empire, where her elder brother is stationed.

Harry is drawn to the bleak landscape of the northeast frontier, so unlike the green hills of her Homeland. The desert she stares across was once a part of the great kingdom of Damar, before the Homelanders came from over the seas. Harry wishes she might cross the sands and climb the dark mountains where no Homelander has ever set foot, where the last of the old Damarians, the Free Hillfolk, still live. She hears stories that the Free Hillfolk possess strange powers — that they work magic — that it is because of this that they remain free of the Homelander sway."

I absolutely loved The Blue Sword. It had great characters and a great story that was truly captivating. Plus it had a ton of action.

One of the things that make Robin McKinley's books so good is the way that she describes the worlds that she creates and draws you completely into the book. Along with characters that are believable and yet lead very unbelievable lives.
The thing I liked most about the main character Harry would have to be how well she handled being taken away from everything she knew without turning into a ninny.
My favorite part of the The Blue Sword would have to be when Harry and her little band of Damarians, Hillfolk, and Homelanders fought against the Northerners while they were severally out numbered. I also liked when Harry participated in the Laprun Trials. I found both of those scenes to be the ones that stuck in my mind long after I have finished reading the book.
My least favorite part of the book would have to be how the end was slightly predictable, I mean the very end like the last five or ten pages. Which was when she returned to Corlath and the riders.
The Blue Sword was definitely a great finish to the delightful Damar series.

The Blue Sword earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
Damar:
The Hero and the Crown
The Blue Sword
______________________________________________
1. The Blue Sword was borrowed from the library.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sabriel

Author: Garth Nix
Title: Sabriel1
Series: The Old Kingdom (book 1)
Publication Date: 1995
Number of Pages: 491
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: "Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic and the Dead. With her father missing, Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life."

Out of the eight books by Garth Nix that I have read, Sabriel being the eighth, I would rank is my second favorite by him. The reason it's ranked so high is because I loved how on one side of the wall you had The Old Kingdom were magic prevails and then on the other side you had Ancelstierre which has 20th century technology. Plus Sabriel was one of the best leading female characters in a fantasy book, other then Menolly from Harper Hall trilogy, that I've read about in a while. She didn't spend to all her time whining about the circumstances that she found herself in.
The other thing I really liked about this book have to be how she was a necromancer, but not in the usual way being that she bound and sent revenants back to their eternal rest. Rather than raising them.
For my favorite part of the book I'm torn between the final battle against Kerrigor, which was amazing; when Sabriel found her father; and when she first found Touchstone who ended up as her traveling companion, mainly because when they first met was kind of funny.
Least favorite part of the book would have to be... Oh, wait, I don't have anything to complain about for the book Sabriel.
I would definitely say that Sabriel is a fantasy must read with lots of action and a great lead character. I also look forward to reading the rest of The Old Kingdom series later this year.

Sabriel earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
______________________________________________
1. Sabriel was borrowed from the library.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Last Days

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Title: The Last Days1
Series: Peeps (book 2)
Publication Date: 2006
Number of Pages: 286
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi
Synopsis: "A mysterious epidemic holds the city in its thrall and the chaos is contagious—black oil spews from fire hydrants, rats have taken over brooklyn, and every day, more people disappear. but all that matters to pearl, Moz, and Zahler is their new band. they ignore the madness around them and join forces with a vampire lead singer and a drummer whose fractured mind can glimpse the coming darkness. will their music stave off the end of the world . . . or summon it?

set against the gritty apocalypse that began in Peeps, The Last Days is about five teenagers who find themselves creating the soundtrack for the end of the world."

The Last Days is the follow up to Scott Westerfeld's book Peeps. Which puts the main characters from the in minor roles (meaning they where hardly mentioned).

While I really enjoyed reading The Last Days, I also enjoyed how each of the chapters was told from the perspective of the five members of the band. It took entirely too long to get down to the bones of the problem, like, the end of the world and the big battle.
Take away the fact that end game took awhile to get going, I loved the characters. My favorite characters would have to be Alana Ray and Pearl and occasionally even Moz. I liked Alana Ray because she was a fascinating character, but the thing I liked the most about her would have to be how she used paint buckets as drums. Pearl, I liked her because she was driven; although I did end up feeling bad for her most of the book. The only time I really liked Moz was when he was playing the guitar, other then that he kind of got on my nerves.
As you can probably guess my favorite part of the book would have to be when the action, what there was of it, finally started. I also liked the "Angels" which were actually the peeps that had gone through treatment, and were slightly sane again, who fought against the giant worm things.
While The Last Days took awhile to get going I enjoyed it more then the previous book.

The Last Days earns 4 1/2 out of 5 pineapples.

Peeps:
Peeps
The Last Days
____________________________________________
1. The Last Days was borrowed from the library.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Contact Form

After much consideration, I have decided to put up a contact form for authors and publishers.
If you are interested in having your book reviewed on this blog or donating a book or swag for a contest please fill out the form at the bottom of the post.
I am interested in many different genres and age ranges. The only books I do not accept are Adult Romance and e-books (I do not have an e-reader). Just fill out the form HERE.
Thanks.



Saturday, February 13, 2010

In My Mailbox (33)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Contest(s):
Author: Coleen Paratore
Title: A Pearl Among Princes (ARC)1
Publication Date: 2009
Synopsis: "Welcome to the island where princes learn to be charming.

Gracepearl Coal is the cook's daughter on Miramore, the island all princes visit for their summer program in the Charming Arts. Each year, the princes-in-training arrive on gallant seacraft, guided by captains trained to navigate the island's treacherous waters. Passage on one of these boats is the only method to leave the island—thus betrothal to a royal is the only way for Pearl to find her far-off destiny, the one that's started haunting her dreams. Luckily, this year's crop of princes include some promising prospects, but how will Pearl leave behind her ailing father or—hardest of all—marry a boy other than her long-time beloved, Mackree . . . who now finds it too painful to even speak to her?"

Author: Sean Beaudoin
Title: Fade to Blue (ARC)2
Publication Date: 2009
Synopsis: "Sophie Blue started wearing a black skirt and Midnight Noir lipstick on her last birthday. It was also the day her father disappeared. Or spontaneously combusted. Which is sort of bad timing, since a Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.

Kenny Fade is a basketball god. His sneakers cost more than his Jeep. He's the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad."

Author: Shelby Hiatt
Title: Panama (ARC)3
Publication Date: 2009
Synopsis: "She is fifteen, ready for something- anything- to happen. What happens is Panama. The U.S. government has asked her father to help build the canal. The whole family will go, be a part of this historical event. But Panama isn't as she imagines. Americans live in the Zone, which has been designed to look and feel just like an American town.
She wants more. She wants different. The fantasy is out there. She'll find it."

Library:
Author: Jim Butcher
Title: Fool Moon4
Series: Dresden Files (book 2)
Publication Date: 2001
Synopsis: "Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicagos only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach. Soon he finds himself pinned between trigger-happy FBI agents, shape-shifiting motorcycle gang members, a threatened mobster boss, and an heir to an ancient curse along with his primal fiance. Thrown in environmental activists and a pair of young werewolves in love and you have something of Fool Moon."

Author: Kristin Cashore
Title: Fire5
Series: Graceling (prequel)
Publication Date: 2009
Synopsis: "She is the last of her kind... It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.
Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next."

Author: Neal Shusterman
Title: Full Tilt6
Publication Date: 2004
Synopsis: "Sixteen-year-old Blake has always been the responsible one in his dysfunctional family — the one who drives safely, gets good grades, and looks after his wild younger brother, Quinn. Quinn is his brother's opposite — a thrill-seeker who's always chasing the next scary rush, no matter what the cost. But Quinn and Blake are in for the surprise of their lives when they're thrust into the world of a bizarre phantom carnival — and their souls are the price of admission."

Author: R.L. Stine
Title: The Stepsister7
Series: Fear Street (book 9)
Publication Date: 1990
Synopsis: "Emily wants to like her stepsister, but it hasn't been easy. As soon as Jessie moves in, she takes over Emily's room, steals Emily's clothes, and lies to everyone. Then Emily picks up Jessie's diary and learns a horrifying secret. Is Jessie really capable of murder? Emily tries to tell her parents, but no one believes her. So it's up to Emily to expose the real Jessie -- if she can stay alive."

First off I would like to send a thank you out to Morgan of Books and Literature for Teens. I won three ARCs from a contest on her blog (Fade to Blue, Panama, and A Pearl Among Princes).
The rest of the books are my library pickes for the week. Since I read the first book in the Dresden Files last year and saw an awesome review on a book futher along in the series at Teens Read and Write I decided that it was about time that I read Fool Moon.
I might have read Full Tilt before, but I'm not entirely sure. Since I loved Graceling I couldn't resist getting Fire. R.L. Stine's The Stepsister I just picked up on a whim, but I mainly got it because the Fear Street book are better then his Goosebump books ever were.
So that's my IMM for the week. Can't wait to see what everyone else got this week.

__________________________________________________________
1. The ARC of A Pearl Among Princes was won from Books and Literature for Teens
2. The ARC of Fade to Blue was also won from Books and Literature for Teens
3. The ARC of Panama was also won from Books and Literature for Teens.
4. Fool Moon was borrowed from the library.
5. Fire was borrowed from the library.
6. Full Tilt was also borrowed from the library.
7. The Stepsister was borrowed from the library.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dragon's Blood

Author: Jane Yolen
Title: Dragon's Blood1
Series: Pit Dragon (book 1)
Publication Date: 1982
Number of Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: "Jakkin, a bond boy who works as a Keeper in a dragon nursery on the planet Austar IV, secretly trains a fighting pit dragon of his own in hopes of winning his freedom."

I'm sensing a theme this week. With this being my third review this week where the book has had the word dragon in the title.
The Pit Dragon trilogy was and is still one of my all time favorite series. It's also another series that I need to get around to buying my own copy.
Back to business, Dragon's Blood is the first book in the Pit Dragon trilogy, which now has a fourth book after many, many years.
One thing you should understand about the Pit dragon series would have to be that unlike say the Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, Austar IV is were the earth's convicts are sent as punishment. Years later it's now a functioning society with its own rules and caste system, plus there're dragons that they train to fight in the pits and earn there way out of bond to become free.
I loved the characters in Dragon's Blood from Jakkin, Akki, and I even liked Master Sarkkhan who was mentioned more then he was actually in the book, but my absolute favorite character in the book would have to be Jakkin's Red Heart's Blood. I know it's weird to like the dragon best, but it was funny and smart.
My favorite part of the book would probably have to be the first time that Jakkin took Heart's Blood to the Pits. I liked that part best because you saw how closely linked the two of them are too each other and because of what happened after the fight.
Surprisingly enough Dragon's Blood hasn't lost any of its appeal for me even after the years since the last time that I have read it. Dragon's Blood is a fantastic fantasy read that will entertain just about any fantasy book lover.

Dragon's Blood earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
____________________________________________
1. Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen was borrowed from the library. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gallows Hill

Author: Lois Duncan
Title: Gallows Hill1
Publication Date: 1997
Number of Pages: 227
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Synopsis: "When seventeen-year-old Sarah works in the fortune-telling booth at a school carnival, she finds that sometimes she can really see the future in the crystal ball, a talent that disturbs some of the other students and makes them suspect her of being a witch."

Wow! Gallows Hill was absolutely addictive. It was so good that I could barely put it down. It is also one of the best books by Lois Duncan that I have ever read.
Gallows Hill drew me in from the very beginning and even left thinking about what was going to happen next when I had to put it down for the night.
One of the things that made it hard to put down would how the story dealt both with the strangeness of Pine Crest and its residents that have an odd connection with things that happened during the Salem Witch Trials. Even though aren’t even in Massachusetts, Pine Crest was set in Missouri.
I actually liked the main character Sarah, she was one of the most interesting characters that I have read about in awhile, I liked how she refused to go along with Eric’s plan after it made her feel uncomfortable and she didn’t go along with things just because the “in crowd” was doing it.
I found Pine Crest to be way creepy with the extremes in which some of the town members went to keep anything occult or different from sticking around, like, burning down a bookstore that was owned by a new resident of Pine Crest.
My favorite part of Gallows Hill would have to be when the cheerleaders and the football team kidnap Sarah... if I told you the rest of the reason why it was my favorite scene you wouldn't have to read the book. But Gallows Hill is too good pass up on reading.
Least favorite part would have to be how pathetic Sarah's mom acted around her boyfriend Ted. While I couldn't stand Sarah's mother for most of the book, she redeemed herself near the end of the book. Though I wish she would've thrown Ted to the curb sooner. He totally irritated me.
Gallows Hill is an awesome supernatural thriller that is definitely worth giving a shot.

Gallows Hill earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

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1. Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan was borrowqed from the library.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dragondrums

Author: Anne McCaffrey
Title: Dragondrums1
Series: Harper Hall (book 3)
Publication Date: 1979
Number of Pages: 240
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: "In the world of Pern, Harpers with great musical ability are held in extreme regard. This is why the young, mischievous Piemur carries himself with so much pride, for he sings like an angel. But when his voice begins to change, Piemur loses all confidence and questions his role within Harper Hall."

Since I read both the Dragonsinger and Dragondrums back-to-back I decided to review them one after the other.

Dragondrums is the third book in the Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey.
Dragondrums takes place about three years` after Dragonsinger; however the story follows Piemur this time with Menolly being only a minor character.
Since my saying this won't give anything away; it was kind of sad when Piemur's voice began to change shortly before the big performance. Especially since the part he was going to sing was written with his voice in mind by one of the Masters.
My favorite part of Dragondrums would have to be all the trouble that Piemur gets himself into. From breaking into one of the holds to get his hands on a fire lizard egg. I also liked how Piemur came to realize that he could be more then just a singer and how by the end of all the trials that he went through he seemed to have matured quite a bit.
I know this might sounds wrong, but it was kind of funny they way Menolly got all worried about Piemur when he went missing and the way she treated him like a little brother.
Although I’m sad to see the Harper Hall trilogy come to a close, I’m pleased with the way things ended and look forward to reading the rest of Anne McCaffrey’s books.

Dragondrums earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
Harper Hall:
Dragonsong
Dragonsinger
Dragondrums
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1. Dragondrums was borrowed from thew library.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dragonsinger

Author: Anne McCaffrey
Title: Dragonsinger1
Series: Harper Hall (book 1)
Publication Date: 1977
Number of Pages: 264
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: "In the world of Pern, Harpers are regarded to be more powerful than kings, for the music they play can literally control the minds of others. For young Menolly, her dreams of becoming a Harper have nothing to do with power, but rather her love of music. Now she is finally living out her musical dreams as an apprentice Harper, but it's turning out to be more challenging than she thought."

I feel I should warn you that Dragonsinger is the second book in the Harper Hall trilogy. The only reason I read and am reviewing it first is that Dragonsong hasn't come in yet.

I absolutely loved reading Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall series when I stumbled upon it a few years back at a different library and have been looking for a chance to re-read the whole series.
The thing that I loved most about Dragonsinger would have to be that the main character has such a strong personality and a genuine love for what she's good at. Plus the writing had me completely taken in from the very first page...again.
Dragonsinger starts off with Menolly's arrival at Harper Hall with her nine fire lizards and begins her journey from daughter of a Lord Sea Holder to apprentice at Harper Hall.
My favorite part of the book would have to be when Menolly, after being teased one to many times by Pona, the snobby granddaughter of a lord holder, calls her out on insult and tries to cut the girls hair with her knife. The only reason she's picked on by the other girls is because she is an apprentice and has earned the right to be there, while they are paying and will never be Journeymen or Masters at their craft, along with the fact that she doesn't act all that feminine.
Least favorite part would have to be that my memories kind of fuzzy on what exactly went on in the first book. Oh well, I'll eventually get to read it.
Here is my favorite chapter opener from Dragonsinger:
“Harper, tell me of the road
That leads beyond this Hold,
That wends its way beyond the hill…
Does it go further on until
It ends in sunset gold?”
Dragonsinger is by far one of my most loved fantasy books by one of my favorite authors.


Dragonsinger earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
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1. Dragonsinger was borrowed from the library.
 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Trailer: Sing Me to Sleep

Y'all have probably already seem the trailer for Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison, but I'm going to post it here anyways. Hope you enjoy it.
Check out The Bookologist for an interview with the author and chance to win a copy of Sing Me to Sleep.



Blue Moon

Author: Alyson Noel
Title: Blue Moon1
Series: The Immortals (book 2)
Publication Date: 2009
Number of Pages: 304
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Synopsis: "Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happening to him. As Ever’s powers are increasing, Damen’s are fading—stricken by a mysterious illness that threatens his memory, his identity, his life.


Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimension of Summerland, uncovering not only the secrets of Damen’s past—the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden—but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows weaker each day..."

When I picked up Blue Moon from the library I was hoping for an improvement over the first book in the series. Thinking maybe, just maybe the writing had improved, but alas I was sadly mistaken and should have listened to the commenters that said it wasn't worth my time.

Blue Moon’s plot was unoriginal, I couldn't stand Ever or Damen or any of the other characters in the book. They were all vapid and shallow. Ever just annoyed me to no end with her mushy talk about her love for Damen and how she can't live without him and how handsome she thought he was *gag* Lets not forget all of her insecurities.
The worst thing about this book is that there was no character development at all. Ever became more clingy, and co-dependent, and a most irritating character to read about.
I didn't even like Damen in the first book. I found him to be creepy and not in an interesting way, he was just a jerk/creep.
I was so disappointed in Blue Moon that I'm seriously tempted to trade off my copy of Evermore, which wasn't that good to begin with. I was so disgusted with it that I am washing my hands of further books in the series.
Blue Moon is the first book that I have read this year that I didn’t like and don’t plan on ever reading again.
While I may not have enjoyed reading Blue Moon I don't want my negative review to stop anyone from giving the series a shot. Because I would totally hate if my review turned someone away from a book they might have liked.

Blue Moon earns 1 1/2  out of 5 pineapples.
 
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1. Blue Moon was borrowed from the library.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Soundtrack Saturday (5)

Soundtrack Saturday is a new meme hosted at Rating Reads

•Take your current read or recently finished book.
•Find at least one song that fits the story, characters, whatever.
•Post the book title and song(s) on your blog with a brief explanation of your picks. Don't forget to mention who started it.
•Head over to Rating Reads and add your post to the Mr. Linky.

Book: Blue Moon- Alyson Noel
Song: Can't Take It- All-American Rejects
Why: With help from two of my friends I picked Can't Take It by The All-American Rejects because Blue Moon was a waste of my time. My review for it will be up on Monday.


In My Mailbox (32)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Library:
Author: Lois Duncan
Title: Gallows Hill1
Publication Date: 1997
Synopsis: "When seventeen-year-old Sarah works in the fortune-telling booth at a school carnival, she finds that sometimes she can really see the future in the crystal ball, a talent that disturbs some of the other students and makes them suspect her of being a witch."

Author: Garth Nix
Title: Sabriel2
Series: The Old Kingdom (book 1)
Publication Date: 1995
Synopsis: "Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic and the Dead. With her father missing, Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life."


Author: Jane Yolen
Title: Dragon's Blood3
Series: Pit Dragon trilogy (book 1)
Publication Date: 1982
Synopsis: "Jakkin, a bond boy who works as a Keeper in a dragon nursery on the planet Austar IV, secretly trains a fighting pit dragon of his own in hopes of winning his freedom."

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Title: The Last Days4
Series: Peeps (book 2)
Publication Date: 2006
Synopsis: "A mysterious epidemic holds the city in its thrall and the chaos is contagious—black oil spews from fire hydrants, rats have taken over brooklyn, and every day, more people disappear. but all that matters to pearl, Moz, and Zahler is their new band. they ignore the madness around them and join forces with a vampire lead singer and a drummer whose fractured mind can glimpse the coming darkness. will their music stave off the end of the world . . . or summon it?"


Author: David Baldacci
Title: The Camel Club5
Series: Camel Club (book 1)
Publication Date: 2005
Synopsis: "It exists at the fringes of Washington, D.C., has no power, and consists solely of four eccentric and downtrodden members whom society has forgotten. Their simple goal is to find the "truth" behind their country's actions. One man leads this aging, ragtag crew. He has no known past and has taken the name "Oliver Stone." Day and night, Stone and his friends study wild conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government, hoping to discover some truth that will hold America's leaders accountable to its citizens. Yet never in Stone's wildest nightmares could he imagine the conspiracy the Camel Club is about to uncover . . ."


Author: Agatha Christie
Title: Murder on the Orient Express6
Series: Hercule Poirot (book 8)
Publication Date: 1934
Synopsis: "Murder on the Orient Express. En route to Paris, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot has booked winter passage on the fabled Orient Express. Among the curious assortment of fellow passengers, one wealthy American holds a unique distinction: He has been found dead of multiple stab wounds in the night compartment of the Calais coach. By dawn, thirteen travelers, each bearing a secret, will find themselves suspect in the most ingenious crime Poirot has ever solved."


Author: Robin McKinley
Title: The Blue Sword7
Series: Damar (book 1)
Publication Date: 1982
Synopsis: "Harry, bored with her sheltered life in the remote orange-growing colony of Daria, discovers magic in herself when she is kidnapped by a native king with mysterious powers."

I went a bit crazy this week when I visited the library and came away with seven books to read. Some of them I've been meaning to give a try, like, Sabriel, Gallows Hill, and The Camel Club. Others are by some of my favorite authors, like, The Blue Sword, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Last Days. And then there's Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen which happens to be one of my all time favorite books and I couldn't pass up a chance to re-read it.
Well, now you've seen what I got this week, cannot wait to everyone else's IMM.
I am delighted to send you over to check out my first guest post at the fabulous Teens Read and Write run by Alyssa, Jake, and Gregory.

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1. Gallows Hill- Lois Duncan is by one of my favorite authors and was borrowed from the library.
2. Sabriel- Garth Nix I've actually wanted to read this book for awhile, but could never find it. It too came from the library.
3. Dragon's Blood- Jane Yolen is one of my favorite books byh on eof my favorite authors. It also was borrowed from the library.
4. The Last Days- Scott Westerfeld, love his books. It too was borrowed from the library.
5. The Camel Club- David Baldacci Sounded interesting so I borrwed it from the library.
6. Murder on the Orient Express- Agatha Christie, I haven't read this one in what seems like ages, so I borrowed it from the library.
7. The Blue Sword- Robin McKinley, I loved her other books so I borrowed this one from the library.

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